The radius is one of the two long bones in your lower arm. The radial head is the small part of this bone near the elbow. This bone may break (fracture) during sports or a fall. It may happen when your arm is hit or is used to protect you in a fall.
Fractures can range from a small, hairline crack to a bone that is broken into two or more pieces. Your treatment depends on how bad the break is.
Your doctor may have put your arm in a cast or splint. This will allow your elbow to heal or will keep it stable until you see another doctor. You also might wear a sling to help support your arm.
It may take weeks or months for your elbow to heal. You can help it heal with some care at home.
You heal best when you take good care of yourself. Eat a variety of healthy foods, and don't smoke.
You may have had a sedative to help you relax. You may be unsteady after having sedation. It can take a few hours for the medicine's effects to wear off. Common side effects of sedation include nausea, vomiting, and feeling sleepy or tired.
The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter D445 in the search box to learn more about "Broken Radial Head of the Elbow: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 29, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& David Bardana, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.